Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Final DC Days

I can't believe I'm actually HOME!!!  I've been waiting for this moment for so long, and it is truly wonderful.  This experience has been so hard, and I definitely have a better appreciation for my life and everything I have after going through it.

I was hoping my last week would be smooth sailing, but clearly that was too much to ask for or expect.  I'll focus on the positive for the blog though.  Monday, I went to a Clemson event with some of my coworkers after work.  We got to bowl and eat for free while meeting some Clemson alumni, Clemson students, and other staffers in the SC delegation.  That was a nice way to start out my week.  Tuesday, I got to see the Discovery shuttle on top of a 747 flying over DC on its way to the Smithsonian.  That was really cool!  It was flying pretty low and came by in four different directions.  Everyone in my office went outside to watch it.  That night, I had to present my white paper.  It went well until the question period, where my roommates completely grilled me.  Thursday, we had an end of the semester breakfast for our program with all of us and our supervisors.  The dean of the USC honors college also came, as well as the director of our program and some of our professors.  We each had to say a few words about our offices and our supervisors had to say some words about us.  I was wonderfully surprised at the things my boss had to say about me.  He said I was more like a staffer than an intern, and the reason they may have overworked me is because they trust me and that is a big deal.  It was really nice.  Thursday night in theater class, we had to present our final projects.  I think my presentation went fine, but there was some drama with everyone else.  I don't understand why people couldn't let things go during the final week, when we all would be home in a few days, but then again, I don't understand why anyone would have acted the irrational and immature way they did over the course of the semester either.  Anyway, I don't need to go into all of that on here, but I went to bed Thursday night, joyful that it would be the last time I'd have to wake up in that house.
Discovery Shuttle on 747 over the Library of Congress
Friday was my last day of work.  Mom and Dad came around 2:30, and I took them on a tour of the Capitol and our offices.  I really showed them everything, and that was fun.  We got done around 4:30, and my office said I could just leave then.  I chatted with everyone for a while before I actually left.  It was a nice talk, and I hope I showed them all how truly thankful I am for them.  Everyone in my office really made it a great experience for me.  How great they were really meant so much more than they know since I had so many issues with the roommates, the house, the professors, and the classes.  It was so nice to know I could look forward to coming to work, and my coworkers showed me so much respect and friendship.  I am already missing them.  Then we headed to the house and got my stuff packed up in record time (an hour)!  I am so glad I never have to set foot in that house again, but I am going to miss Charlotte, Seth, and Angelica terribly.  They were the best roommates I've ever had, and quickly became my best friends.  I seriously could not have survived this semester without them.  I'm so glad they were there for me, and we could vent to each other about anything.  I hope we really do stay in contact.
Charlotte, Seth, and I
Saturday, my parents and I went on a riverboat cruise to see the monuments.  I had gotten some free tickets at Rep. Eleanor Holmes-Norton's Ask Me About DC event on the hill a while back, and I was really excited to go.  Seeing the city by water was a really great way to conclude my DC semester.  It reminded me of how majestic and historic DC really is, which I'd maybe forgotten in living there for four months with everything else I had going on.  It was perfect weather, too - not too hot, too cold, or too windy.  I got my last amazing views of the monuments with my parents on a perfect day.
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington Monument
Jefferson Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
John F. Kennedy Performing Arts Center
Watergate Complex
Next, we went to the White House for the Spring Garden Tour!  I wanted to get my parents a White House tour, since we didn't get to go when we came to DC when I was in high school.  A few weeks before this, we found out the White House would be closed on my move-out weekend.  It was odd, because they didn't say why.  Then a week or so ago, we found out they were closed because this would be the one weekend a year they do the spring garden tours, and we were able to get tickets from my office.  That was a great surprise!  The tour was awesome and so much better than the regular White House tour I went on, so we really lucked out.  The presidents plant trees on the grounds every year they are in office, so they had all of those trees labeled with the picture of the president planting it.  We also go to see the rose garden, beehive, children's garden, and kitchen garden that Michelle Obama started.  We also got to see Sasha and Malia's swingset and the oval office right next to it.  We got to walk so close to the house and that famous fountain!  It was really cool, and there were tons of great picture opportunities.  Then, when we tried to leave, they wouldn't let us out for some reason.  They were holding a bunch of us inside the gates.  Eventually, we learned it was because Obama was coming back from an event and his motorcade had to drive where we would be exiting.  We couldn't see him or even the cars too much from where we were in the crowd, but it is neat that he was so close.
So close!!!
My parents and I so close to the White House!
Me with the South Lawn
Rose Garden
Sasha and Malia's swingset and Oval Office
My parents and I with the full White House
Me at the White House!
Me with the famous fountain
White House Kitchen Garden
We grabbed a bite to eat, then headed out of town.  The drive went well, and we got home around 1:30.  To wrap up my DC semester, I thought I'd do a top 10 list of my favorite experiences, so here goes:
10. National Gallery of Art
9. Holocaust Museum
8. Natural History Museum
7. Hairspray at Signature Theater
6. Eastern Market
5. Cherry Blossom Festival (blossoms themselves, fireworks, and parade)
4. Monuments River Cruise
3. Crime and Punishment Museum
2. White House Spring Garden Tour
1. Sitting in the gallery during a vote

I'm so grateful for this semester and all it brought - the good and the bad.  I think I'm a much stronger person, because of it.  I got to do a lot of amazing things.  So I guess I'm done with college...now on to graduation and the job search!

1 comment:

  1. What a great blog Marisa and what a great opportunity you have had in DC. Thank you for sharing it with us - Olivia